Last year, the lawyer resigned Andreas Satter Hansen As a partner in one of the country’s leading patent offices, Onsagersto start with themselves.
Now he claims to outperform the rest of the industry. Trademark applications for newcomers Postal code It went through a Norwegian patent office plant seven times faster than the industry average, the entrepreneur claims, and without any unexpected extra costs – versus the industry average of 40 per cent overall.
I don’t think anyone makes things more difficult than they have to be. But at the same time, no one is motivated to do things efficiently, the entrepreneur says of the well-established part of the industry he has now left.
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Three industrial rights
- Patented: Registering a patent grants an exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for a period of 20 years. The invention must constitute a feasible solution to a problem, the solution having a technical character and a technical and repeatable effect. The invention must also have an “innovative step,” which means it must be new and significantly different from prior art in the field.
- design: The appearance and shape of the product or parts of it. The term also includes non-physical elements, such as web screens, graphic icons, etc. In order to receive protection upon registration, the design must be new and not be public for more than 12 months.
- trade mark: Brand is a distinctive feature of goods and services. May include name, word, logo, and figure. You can protect a trademark from counterfeiting by applying to register a trademark with the Norwegian Patent Office. A trademark can only be registered if it is suitable to distinguish its goods and/or services from others.
Law can give good answers like a lawyer
Among the newly created Zipip clients are entrepreneurial companies such as Masterchannel and Heymat.
Processed Zipip brand orders went through an average of 20 days. This process usually takes four to five months if you use some large IP office, claims Sætre Hanssen. The Norwegian Patent Office asserts that applications can take from three weeks (if everything in the application follows the book) to five months,
The secret behind the good numbers is that there has been very little extra work with the apps, according to Sætre Hanssen. He builds the company on the principle of “automate where possible, detail when needed”.
– Kongstanken is to simplify applications, simplify repetitive work. With the right knowledge and experience, you can easily see solutions. If you then automate the work at the other end, it saves time and money. Then I hope that customers will use some of what they provide in a better and more strategic rights.
This is where some of the challenges for the established industry lie, he believes: with lawyers.
If we admit that what we are doing can be framed as a “flow chart,” it quickly raises questions about why a lawyer should be present and billed for four hours. I think a lawyer is still required to ensure quality and take responsibility, but services can be delivered more efficiently.
So I think it’s a mentality that our process is ambiguous and unique. Sætre Hanssen says, I think some lawyers may have a hard time accepting the idea that code can give as good an answer as the rest of us.
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With the new company, Sætre Hanssen is clearly going against the tide. In recent years, the patent industry has been strengthened. Only in 2021, the patent office in Oslo became part of the international group AWA, Zacco bought Tandberg Innovation, and Leogriff was sold to the British company Dehns.
At the same time, the latest annual report from the Norwegian Patent Office shows that the number of applications is increasing (see fact box).
Applications to the Norwegian Patent Office in 2021
A record number of trademark applications were filed last year (2021: 18142, 2020: 16660), according to the annual report of the Norwegian Patent Office, published this week. The number of foreign applicants in particular has increased, indicating that Norway is an attractive market for the international business community, according to the report.
The number of patent applications also increased somewhat (2021: 1580, 2020: 1444), while design applications remained at a steady level.
– I think this development is negative for customers. There are limited number of suppliers, and the old suppliers can get good salaries when the need in the market increases. Sætre Hanssen believes that accessing the services will be more difficult.
New thinking is not profitable
It is believed that there are two main reasons behind the stagnation of development in the industry for a long time.
The facility is built in such a way that it is not in its interest to turn things into a standardized and automated solution, because it must have revenue and personnel that must be defended. If you do things more efficiently, you will get fewer kroner and øre from each one. The new thinking here is not profitable in the short term.
– The second is that those who are experienced and mature enough to deal with this, mostly sit well where they are. Otherwise, they are in the establishment stage and need security. People earn well in this industry, so the incentives to do something new are small.
– What makes you different?
Below is the fun of building something new. I also have no children that I will give birth to in kindergarten, and at the same time in-depth knowledge of the industry. Then I have an economy that allows me to try this without hurting my marriage and my nerves. Without really having the big money, that is. I have to make it happen.
Efficiency is always the goal
We don’t immediately recognize ourselves in the description given by the industry, he writes Lars Frederick Orange In an email to Shifter. He is the general manager of Onsagers, which has left the patent office of Sætre Hanssen.
At Onsagers, we have a great breadth of team, and we benefit greatly from the competence and multidisciplinary experience we have gained over time. It’s what our customers enjoy, whether young or old.
“It can be added that the goal should be to work and work efficiently,” Orange writes.
Peter WestensWho is the general manager of Protector of intellectual property technology and law, on the supplier side in this industry for 2 years, and has 15 years of experience in purchasing IP services. It also helps Startup Norway in such matters.
– I appreciate the initiative and what he is trying to achieve. I understand he’s trying to present himself as the disruptor, so all the credit for trying to achieve something new in an industry that has historically been fairly conservative, he says.
Westens still thinks Sætre Hanssen misses his criticism.
– I can recognize his descriptions when I started buying IP services 15 years ago. But an incredible amount has happened since then. Yes, it’s a conservative industry and it takes time to change, but it looks very different now, he thinks.
Westnes in particular points to the past two years, as the pandemic has accelerated development, by automating and digitizing administrative tasks.
Historically, I understand why he says that, but that is no longer true. These are not the traits one sees in the industry today. He emphasizes that with us, there are many efficiency projects underway, and the incentives are certainly there.
Westnes points to international competition, price pressure on select services, new expectations from clients, and a lack of good advisors as important drivers of development in the industry.
– This requires that we be more customer centric and create more value for every kroner our customers spend on us, and internal efficiency. Those who haven’t seen it may not have a right to a life in this industry.
At the same time, Westnes stresses that not everything in the IP industry can or should be automated.
– If you think that all the elements can be plotted in a ‘flow chart’, then you don’t understand the complexity. Strategic advice cannot be simplified.
Not mysterious, but complicated
And the mindset described by Sætre Hanssen, who says the process of IP consultants is seen as “mysterious and unique,” convinces Westnes.
– I can understand what he means, but what we do is relatively complex and therefore can be seen as incomprehensible to those who do not deal with it. Therefore, it may seem ambiguous. We feel this responsibility, he says, and he says they make “relatively simple books” on the topic that they share with clients, potential clients, and other stakeholders.
– This is how we make customers more efficient for buyers.
Unification for better or worse?
Westnes agrees that there has been some consolidation in the market, and doesn’t think it’s complete. And he thinks it’s not necessarily negative.
It’s a natural progression in a changing industry, he says.
He’s also not sure that few like Sætre Hanssen will have those now in power in the industry. Within Brand Operations specifically, it is estimated, for example, that there are 15-20 players.
– I’m not sure if it was a little or a lot.
Westnes also points out that there are now far more traditional patent offices doing this type of work, such as law firms and other professionals, as well as players in Sweden and Denmark.
– It is a good show for those who hunt it, even if, as he thinks, not everyone is visible.